07 May 2015

"WYRMWOOD: ROAD OF THE DEAD" (/SLASH 1/2 Mini-Festival, 2015)

WYRMWOOD: ROAD OF THE DEAD

Alternate Title:
Wyrmwood

Australia, 2014
Director: Kiah Roache-Turner

4/10








As of lately, my beloved Australia is letting me down quite a lot. Aside from the amazing "The Babadook", there was lots of disappointing stuff, like the mediocre remakes of "Patrick" and "Long Weekend", promising but ultimately not that satisfying films like "These Final Hours" or "Wolf Creek 2" - and now this one: "Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead", another post-apocalyptic zombie movie about a couple of wacky survivors trying to, erm, survive *yawn* in a world where an odd meteor shower has turned half the population into living and walking dead.

From what I saw and heard of it beforehand, I expected this to be more like 'Mad Max vs. Zombies'. Unfortunately, it's SO NOT "Mad Max" level and feels more like a shiftless best-of of all zombie-movie-clichés ever created, including semi-funky anti-zombie-armour, characters and scenarios straight outta "Bad Taste" or "The Battery" ,and a few plot elements that are actually smart and original, but were applied in a gimmicky and disappointingly unimpressive way, for example:
the meteor shower has made gasoline inflammable, while zombie-blood and zombie-breath are perfectly flammable now, which leads to a good-but-actually-not-that-good throwaway-scene where a few guys power their car with...
well, a zombie! Great idea, but the execution was just meh.


There are other pretty amusing scenes, involving zombie home invasions and accidental friendly fire, a couple of neat actors playing very likable characters (most notably: Luke McKenzie and Keith Agius) and lots of gore, blood and violence. Unfortunately, due to Kiah Roache-Turner's poor direction and very awkward pacing, all the fun didn't prevent me and my 5 buddies (the regular /Slash crowd) from ending up bored and annoyed. Crudely developed subplots that are pretty worthless, unnerving side characters, frustratingly unfunny comic reliefs, superfluous "Shaun of the Dead"-like oh-so-emotional scenes that just don't work at all, tedious fight sequences that drag on and on, way too much slow-motion, weird editing, lack of suspense and atmosphere etc. etc.

It's not bad, but it's about as forgettable as recent zombie trash à la "Zombie Hunter" or "Cockneys vs. Zombies". Absolutely no interest in checking out
the *sigh* upcoming sequel "Wyrmwood 2"...

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